Buddha’s Golden Years

He was squat and round like the Happy Buddha.
He no longer had a care in the world,
yet he worried about everything.
We met in a place called home-his home.
I was a child entrusted with the care of a human being,
A beautiful bald headed, confused little man
who once upon a time had his own life, cares that mattered,
and a vote in his own destiny.
He spent life as a carny, raising roller-skating monkeys.
He could barely tell me anything about them through the haze and worry
of the dementia that was killing him far faster than anything else that plagued him.
His family no longer visited.
His monkey friends were long gone.
A sixteen year old stranger sat at his bedside
while he lay dying.

I cried for his loss and mine.

4 comments on “Buddha’s Golden Years

  1. Lizzi R says:

    Ouch. Dementia's no fun.

    This hearkens me back to experiences I had at 19. UNpleasant.

    Glad you were there for him.


  2. Zoe Byrd says:

    It was your guest post for Finding Ninee that got me thinking of this guy.. I think of him often… he was my favorite … I visited him even after I left that job. I think I was 17 when he died… but I wont ever forget it… cool guy…


  3. Lizzi R says:

    Ah so it was part of that! I wondered.

    It's nice when we get a favourite. I did that – never with the elderly ones, but with the kids. I still think of a few of them.


  4. Tressa says:

    Elder care, very tough on everyone (the elder, the family that stays, the professional care givers). Poem captures.



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